Henin makes Dubai tennis quarters

Updated: 2007-02-22 14:14

Top seed Justine Henin survived a big scare of her career to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Open tennis tournament on Wednesday.

Belgium's Justine Henin returns the ball to Austria's Tamira Paszek during their match at the Dubai Open Tennis Championships February 21, 2007. [Reuters]
The Belgian took two hours and 28 minutes to beat 16-year-old Tamira Paszek of Australia 4-6, 7-5 and 6-1, rallying back from one set down and a break point in the second set.

However, Henin survived when 127th-ranked Paszek netted a forehand, and the holder then broke to take the set when Paszek made a backhand error.

After beating a break point in the opening game of the third set, Henin broke Paszek to love to lead 2-0, and a further break for 5-1.

"I was pretty close to losing that match," Henin said, "she played very well and I wasn't very comfortable on the court and was far away from my best level."

The Belgian, who split from her husband last month, hit nine double-faults.

"She doesn't have the kind of game that I like so much," said Henin, "but it was a good one to start. I probably need this kind of match right now and I'm very happy that I won this one and have another chance tomorrow."

Second seed Amelie Mauresmo of France eased past Vera Dushevina 6-2, 6-2 while Russian third-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova beat American Meghann Shaughnessy 6-1 and 7-6.

Fourth seed Martina Hingis of Switzerland was stretched by Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues, taking two hours and 40 minutes to win 5-7, 6-3 and 6-4, and fifth-seeded Serb Jelena Jankovic overcame Italy's Mara Santangelo 6-3 and 7-5.

Sixth seed Patty Schnyder and eight-seeded Slovak Daniela Hantuchova both struggled for over two hours before winning.

Swiss left-hander Schnyder needed five match points to close out her 4-6, 6-2 and 6-4 win over Australia's Alicia Molik, and Hantuchova edged over Russia's Maria Kirilenko 2-6, 6-4 and 7-6.

In another long struggle, Eleni Daniilidou of Greece took two hours and 37 minutes to beat Japan's Ai Sugiyama 5-7, 6-1 and 7-5.

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